Very high and erratic heart rate

ErraticHeart
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Feb 2021, 9:23pm

Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby ErraticHeart » 22 Feb 2021, 9:45pm

I am a 62 year old male in reasonably good physical condition. My resting heart rate is 47bpm. I cycle regularly, and recently started using Zwift, where I record my power and heart rate. My FTP is approximately 210-220 and I weigh about 77kg.

While cycling with any intensity, my heart rate is normally extremely erratic, and will jump suddenly from 120bpm to 170bpm, going up to about 215bpm. There is some correlation between effort (watts) and heart rate, but it is not a clear correlation (as I think it should be). On fairly long rides, my average heart rate might be as high as about 180bpm.Once I stop exercising, my heart rate recovers quickly. I do not feel palpitations or unwell when my heart rate is at 200bpm. Very occasionally, my heart rate appears to function almost normally, with an average bpm of about 130 for similar wattage to those where it has been 180bpm average.

I am using a chest heart rate strap monitor which functions correctly (having been tested by others). I get similar results from other heart rate monitor chest straps.

I attach some graphs showing power (white line) and heart rate (red line) and cadence (blue line).

I visited a cardiologist about this, and he said to stop using my heart rate monitor. I'd be interested to hear others' views on this condition.
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Jdsk
Posts: 5859
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby Jdsk » 22 Feb 2021, 10:12pm

Welcome.

Is your pulse ever irregular?

ErraticHeart wrote:I visited a cardiologist about this, and he said to stop using my heart rate monitor.

Did he say why?

Jonathan

ErraticHeart
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Feb 2021, 9:23pm

Re: Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby ErraticHeart » 22 Feb 2021, 10:18pm

Hello, thank you for your response. My pulse is regular. The cardiologist ran an echocardiogram and concluded that the structure and function of my heart was normal. He was unable to explain why the heart rate monitor produces such high readings.

axel_knutt
Posts: 1597
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 12:20pm

Re: Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby axel_knutt » 23 Feb 2021, 1:29am

ErraticHeart wrote:The cardiologist ran an echocardiogram and concluded that the structure and function of my heart was normal. He was unable to explain why the heart rate monitor produces such high readings.

I had two Bruce tests, two 24 hour Holters, a 7 day Holter, and more ECGs than you can poke a stick at, but the only times the NHS have ever seen my AF were the occasions when I fetched up at A&E in an ambulance. AF is commonly paroxysmal, one minute it’s there, next minute it’s not. Even if you manage get to the hospital with arrhythmia, you have to get past the doctors who can’t recognise it when they see it. I was once sent home with atrial flutter by doctors who thought I was just having a panic attack, and that was after I had already been diagnosed, medicated, and put on the waiting list for an ablation.

My HRM was producing erratic/high readings for a couple of years before I was diagnosed, and I stopped using it because I thought it was faulty.
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

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Audax67
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Location: Alsace, France
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Re: Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby Audax67 » 23 Feb 2021, 8:35am

ErraticHeart wrote:Hello, thank you for your response. My pulse is regular. The cardiologist ran an echocardiogram and concluded that the structure and function of my heart was normal. He was unable to explain why the heart rate monitor produces such high readings.


Not that I'm a cardiologist, but if you only get symptoms when cycling with some intensity then an echocardiogram done at rest isn't going to show much. You need to get him to fit you with a 24-hour Holter and take it for a ride (i.e. you take it for the ride, not him).
Have we got time for another cuppa?

ErraticHeart
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Feb 2021, 9:23pm

Re: Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby ErraticHeart » 23 Feb 2021, 7:52pm

Many thanks for your response. The ECG was done at stress (while running), but oddly my heart rate only went to 163 bpm during the test.

Very occasionally my heart rate is low and steady during a ride. For example, I attach a screenshot of a 40km cycle where my heart rate was high and erratic for 30 minutes, low (approx 115bpm) and fairly steady for about 10 - 15 minutes, then high and erratic for a further 15 minutes, even though there was no significant change in power output. Totally bizarre! I confirm it was me on the bike the whole time and there was no issue with the heart rate monitor!
Image Attachments
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Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Very high and erratic heart rate

Postby Bonefishblues » 23 Feb 2021, 8:05pm

axel_knutt wrote:
ErraticHeart wrote:The cardiologist ran an echocardiogram and concluded that the structure and function of my heart was normal. He was unable to explain why the heart rate monitor produces such high readings.

I had two Bruce tests, two 24 hour Holters, a 7 day Holter, and more ECGs than you can poke a stick at, but the only times the NHS have ever seen my AF were the occasions when I fetched up at A&E in an ambulance. AF is commonly paroxysmal, one minute it’s there, next minute it’s not. Even if you manage get to the hospital with arrhythmia, you have to get past the doctors who can’t recognise it when they see it. I was once sent home with atrial flutter by doctors who thought I was just having a panic attack, and that was after I had already been diagnosed, medicated, and put on the waiting list for an ablation.

My HRM was producing erratic/high readings for a couple of years before I was diagnosed, and I stopped using it because I thought it was faulty.

I recorded my episodes and emailed it to the doctor whilst I was in the hospital, which seemed to go down well :D